April 22, 2006

"a darling cause of the corporate-philanthropic-society set.” Barf..

Richard John Neuhaus writes:

Sol Stern of the Manhattan Institute, a distinguished educational expert, notes that the budget for public schools in New York City is over $17 billion. That’s about $15,000 per pupil. Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of New York is closing 14 Catholic schools because it cannot support them on a tuition of $3,000 per year. Nobody disputes that the Catholic schools provide, by every measure of achievement, a much superior education.

Yet Mayor Michael Bloomberg, unlike his predecessor Rudy Giuliani, has had not one generous word to say about the invaluable role of Catholic schools. Instead, he has been enlisting the fancy billionaire set to kick in with $300 million of additional funding for the government schools. The New York Times recently described a gathering of “fashionistas, artists, wealthy businessmen or their wives [who have] turned public education into a darling cause of the corporate-philanthropic-society set.”

Of course none of their children go to public schools....

....Why don’t the fashionistas, billionaires, and politicians listen? I am second to none in opposing the reckless invocation of racism in explaining social wrongs. But what is the right word for the studied indifference to the plight of black, Hispanic, and other non-white children who are consigned to a school system that systematically excludes the majority of them from educational opportunity, and thus from the opportunities and responsibilities of full participation in our common life?

For the thousandth time: The social justice imperative for the urban poor and underclass is the provision, whether through educational vouchers or other measures, of school choice. It would also provide needed competition for the public school system which, no matter how many more billions are poured into it, has demonstrated over the decades that it has no incentive for change.....
Posted by John Weidner at April 22, 2006 9:48 PM
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